A Quick Buyers Guide to Short Sales

What is a ‘Short Sale’

A short sale occurs when a seller wishes to sell a property that is now worth less than the mortgage and any other indebtedness that is owed on the property, and is asking the lender to forgive all or part of the difference. If the seller is in a position and willing to pay this difference, it is not a short sale.

Who Should Buy a Short Sale:

It can be any one who finds a property that they feel will suit their needs. It can be an investor, a first time home buyer or a second home buyer. The governing factor is that the you must have patience and not need to take possession of the home in a short period of time. If you need to close in less than 3 months or possibly even longer, select a different type of sale.

What Should a Buyer Look for in a Short Sale:

Short sales come in different flavors with differing odds of a successful conclusion.
The best odds are with an owner in a pre-foreclosure situation where the current seller no longer has the assets to continue making payments on the home and it will be foreclosed upon in the future. Even better odds if there is no second mortgage on the home. The lender can’t ask for additional money from a seller without assets and they will prefer to take some loss now, rather than go through the expense of foreclosure at a later time. But, keep in mind; the bank/lender will not sell it for a ridiculously low price if they feel that they can get more after a foreclosure. Can it be bought for less than current market value? Yes, depending on the location from 10% to 25% under market value.

For the seller with a second mortgage, the negotiations will be a bit more involved, but given enough time, with a proper offer, the sale should lead to a successful conclusion.
After the above, come the investor properties. First, those investors that have gone bust or almost bust and have one mortgage are good short sale candidates, followed by those with second mortgages. However, if they have any assets, the short sale can be delayed and very often not completed due to the lender attaching large deficiency notices against the seller which they may not agree to thus causing the short sale to fail.

If you have an indication that the short sale belongs to an investor with considerable assets, be very leery as there is a good chance that the short sale will never happen.
The Short Sale Contract:
Your odds of a successful short sale are much better if you select an agent that knows the short sale process with a good track record. Unfortunately, you can’t always select the listing agent of a short sale and if they do not have much experience and/or short sale knowledge, it can be a very difficult transaction.

Once under way, the short sale is almost the same as any transaction. It is an agreement by a buyer to purchase a certain property from the seller. Both parties sign this agreement (the Purchase and Sale Contract) and now the sale is contingent on the specifics of the contract. In the case of the short sale, probably the important contingency is lender or bank approval. Most short sale contracts will specify that after the initial approval, all time lines will commence after lender approval. There is also a given time for the lender approval that may or may not require adjustment at some later time during the waiting process.

There are many ways to structure a short sale offer and this is where selecting an experienced agent will help your chances of a successful conclusion as well as protecting your interests along with a reasonable escape or withdrawal clause.

The Short Sale Process:

Unfortunately, more often than not, this involves a lot of waiting. A good short sale agent should try to get you updates or status reports every week or so. If they don’t, ask them, but be prepared for no news. When the lender orders an appraisal or BPO (Broker Price Opinion – a simplified appraisal normally performed by a real estate agent), it means that the end is getting closer. Probably (but, not always) within 30 days of an answer.

The Bank/Lender Approval:

This is not a sure thing, and the Bank/Lender could simply say no, and the buyer is back to square one, or they could come back with a counter offer that the buyer can either accept or reject, or, they can simply approve the offer.

After making you wait all of this time, the bank will invariably demand a quick closing. Sometimes trying for as little as a week. Don’t be bullied at this point. You will need to complete inspections and satisfy yourself that the property is in an acceptable condition. If financing is involved, adequate time must be given to complete the financing contingencies.

The Closing:

The hard part is over and you will soon take ownership of your property at a great price. But one more thing to consider, often the lender will use their own attorney or title company to convey the title. They will only be interested in ensuring that they are free of any obligations on the property. They may or may not ensure all other liens or obligations on the property are satisfied. It may be very prudent to have your own attorney review the title and the title policy.

Congratulations if you have enough patience and diligence to complete this process!

If you’re considering purchasing a home, but feel ‘out of touch’ with what’s happening in real estate give us a call today at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at www.GabeSanders.com or www.TreasureCoastFLHomes.com. Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, Florida (Sewall’s Point); please ask for Gabe Sanders or .

Evaluating An Appraisal

All of us often turn to professionals when we need critical services performed or important guidance offered. Of course, the buying and selling of property is one such example, and the selection of a representative should be pursued carefully with interviews and research.

The same applies when choosing another professional who is crucial to the real estate transaction – the appraiser. But who orders the appraisal? Most often, it is the lender, who uses the report to confirm a property’s value before approving financing. Sometimes, either the buyer or the seller will order an appraisal in order to secure an independent opinion of said value.

If you hire an appraiser, be sure he or she is licensed and certified. Most states provide those qualifications through an appraisal board, and you can also refer to the federal Appraisal Subcommittee’s website at www.asc.gov, although only current – not past – disciplinary actions are listed there.

Once you’ve ordered an appraisal, how can you be sure of its accuracy? Begin by selecting an independent appraiser who was not chosen by the lender, and use your common sense. If the home across the street just sold for $150,000 and your appraisal reports at $250,000, you may have reason to seek a second opinion, which may be provided in a Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) performed by your real estate agent.

Understanding real estate dilemmas and their solutions is our business, and we’ll happily share our knowledge with you. Why not give us a call at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at www.GabeSanders.com and www.TreasureCoastFLHomes.com. Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, Florida (Sewall’s Point); please ask for Gabe Sanders or .

And Now, The Good News

Consumer Reports recently published a survey, and the results indicate that there is, in fact, some good news in the real estate industry! While foreclosures and other economic factors still exert some negative impact, those buyers and sellers who have worked with real estate professionals expressed a high degree of satisfaction, both with their representatives and with their bottom line.

Nearly 10,000 consumers were surveyed, and nearly three-quarters of those buyers and sellers reported that they were very or completely satisfied with their agent. More good news: 86 percent of sellers who listed with a professional made the sale! (Many of the remaining percentage still had their homes on the market at the time of the survey.)

Other results showed what all agents already know, because over four-fifths of consumers who listed through a broker netted an average of only $5,000 less than their asking price. On the flip side, two-thirds of buyers who used a representative paid about $5,000 less than their purchase’s original listing price. (The remaining third, who negotiated on their own, ended up paying very close to the asking price.)

So what do all these statistics mean to you? Regardless of your market’s conditions, when you face the need to buy or sell your home, you’ll get the best results when you seek the representation of a qualified real estate professional!

If you have a real estate need in Martin County or Port Saint Lucie, let us help you. Give us a call at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at www.GabeSanders.com or www.TreasureCoastFLHomes.com . Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, (Sewall’s Point) Florida; please ask for Gabe Sanders or .

Looking Good In The Neighborhood!

When you look your best, you attract attention. A recent survey of five hundred REALTORS® proves that it’s no different when it comes to marketing your home.

82 percent of those polled reported that buyers unimpressed by a home’s “curb appeal” won’t be interested in a closer look. Additionally, 90 percent of the agents explained that a sale depends greatly on first impressions walking through the front door.

That same number also reported that the appearance of a home’s exterior is equally important as the interior features and condition. When buyers see your home from the street and the front walk, they feel that what they see is what they get.

When you’re ready to list, work hard on your curb appeal and make sure the interior displays the same pride of ownership. Then have professional photographs accompany your listing on the Internet, as well as in brochures, print ads, and other marketing tools.

These photos may be the buyers’ first “first impression” to look closer. The more pictures you offer, the better your chance for a quick sale. Listings with one photo sold for 91 percent of the listing price, while those with six or more pictures sold for 95 percent of the asking price. When you do the math, you’ll see that an attractive home plus attractive marketing is the formula for success!

If you’re planning to sell your home, take a look at our web sites to see how we will market your home. Or for detailed information, give us a call at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at http://www.gabesanders.com/ or http://www.treasurecoastflhomes.com/. Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, (Sewall’s Point) Florida; please ask for Gabe Sanders or .

The Long and Short of It!

You’ve been reading negative stories about the housing market, and while some are experiencing a slowdown, it’s still no reason to keep you from pursuing the American Dream.

Anyone who’s watched the industry for the last thirty years will tell you that it’s a natural cycle, much like the adjustments the stock market experiences. All’s well that ends well after a period of time passes.

Remember that housing is a long-term investment. Some people tried to create high yields over the short term, and that’s part of the reason so many markets are experiencing readjustments now.

Regardless of whether housing is up or down, individuals and families will always have a need to buy or sell. Home sales last year actually surpassed those of five years ago, which was another record year. Interest rates and prices are at historical lows, creating an excellent atmosphere for qualified buyers.

When reading the gloom and doom about foreclosures, it’s important to keep the reports in perspective. Most defaults are associated with sub-prime loans, which account for less than 10% of all mortgages. Of those, only 0.6% are currently in foreclosure.

Now is the time to turn to the advice and guidance of a trusted local real estate professional, whether you’re buying or selling. Keep a level head and take advantage of positive forces in the current housing market.

If you’re considering purchasing a home, the Gabe Sanders real estate team are your local resource and are intimately familiar with the current market. Feel free to ask us what’s happening in real estate on the Treasure Coast today at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at http://www.gabesanders.com/ or http://www.treasurecoastflhomes.com/. Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, Florida (Sewall’s Point)